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Chapter 2 - Research Support for Schema Therapy

from Part I - Overview of the Schema Therapy Model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2023

Robert N. Brockman
Australian Catholic University
Susan Simpson
NHS Forth Valley and University of South Australia
Christopher Hayes
Schema Therapy Institute Australia
Remco van der Wijngaart
International Society of Schema Therapy
Matthew Smout
University of South Australia
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Schema therapy research has increased significantly over the last twenty years. This chapter reviews empirical support for the schema therapy model, including evidence for the existence of core emotional needs, that early maladaptive schemas result from unmet needs, and that early maladaptive schemas and schema modes are associated with various forms of psychopathology. Next, it reviews the randomized controlled trials of schema therapy for personality disorders and the uncontrolled trials of schema therapy for a range of other problems including anxiety and related disorders and eating disorders. Finally, empirical support for two key interventions within schema therapy – imagery rescripting and chair dialogues – is discussed. There is strong support for the efficacy of long-term individual schema therapy for females with borderline personality disorder. Support for other applications of schema therapy is promising but requires replication with more rigorous study designs. There is evidence that belongingness/secure attachment, competence, and autonomy are basic psychological needs. Both maladaptive and adaptive schemas cluster according to themes of whether or not early experiences provided connection, autonomy, and reasonable limits.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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